Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 3 of 3      Prev   1   2   3
Fish Evans

Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #31 
You can have an audio file play over the main screen with out the interaction of the Comms officer I belive. You can drop the initial brief/introduction in that way. then if needed throw some hints at the crews.
Mike Substelny

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 2,404
Reply with quote  #32 
You are correct, Fish Evans. But if the audio file just plays without warning then the problem of the captain talking over it becomes even worse. Also, the players have no way to replay that message.

Nevertheless, your suggestion might contain an excellent solution!

Suppose the mission started with a computer voice on the main screen saying:

"Incoming briefing in fifteen seconds."
"Incoming briefing in ten seconds."
"Incoming briefing in five seconds."
"Click PLAY to hear mission briefing."

At that moment the audio message PLAY button would appear on the Communications screen. I bet players would pay attention to that. I think I'll try an experiment with it.

Do you think crews would mind sitting there for fifteen seconds before the mission starts?

__________________
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill
ryleyra

Registered:
Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #33 
Oh heck, you're right. I only thought in terms of playing a short sound file for a one time event, like the built in files. But you can play anything you want. I guess there is no maximum length for the sound file.  

You could set up a whole introduction, with theme music and everything, if you were feeling particularly fruity. [biggrin]

On a less work-intensive note, you might combine sound files with the big message to create a mission introduction.

One other thought I had was a "incoming message" graphic on the screen, combined with an audio message. Kind of like Babylon 5's "BabCom" or "StellarCom System". They both had a splash screen and distinct audio beep to let you know someone was calling. I was thinking it would help to make such messages distinct from the style of the big message or popup. (Although a popup can most certainly be a means of grabbing attention, since it has to be dismissed)

BabCom also kept "ringing" until you answered it. I'm not sure a mission can be programmed to do that. (Although a GM certainly can) You can send a message or audio to Comms, but you don't know when Comms actually reads or plays it. I honestly think scripting could use with more interactivity. (Outside of the buggy keypress mechanism)

Maybe a new command, "incoming_call", which puts a graphic on the main screen and sounds an alert until Comms shuts it off?

Also, I'm going to have to go back to my Strike Force Seven mission and add a sound effect for the tractor beam. Probably some other "special abilities" as well. I completely forgot I could use sound files that way.
Mike Substelny

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 2,404
Reply with quote  #34 
I like the idea of a message ringing until it is answered. Unfortunately the mission script cannot detect when a message has been played.

All of my audio messages begin with a customized quindar tone that I created.


__________________
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill
Gryphon

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 415
Reply with quote  #35 
Some sort of standard "Incoming Message in ...." countdown with a dedicated, instantly recognizable flashing or color-shifting graphic plus distinctive audio warning component on the mainscreen followed by a big Play button on Comms sounds just about perfect. With such a consistent combined visual and auditory cue, it would be a simple matter to quickly condition a crew into not ignoring such announcements within the first few minutes of a mission, provided that the device was not overused or trivialized. Every message given this way must be of critical importance to reinforce the conditioning.
ryleyra

Registered:
Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #36 
I agree, the "incoming hail" should be a reminder, not an every time thing. Like the example above where I had the crew scan a ship for info as a prequel to the action, the idea is that you tell them how they do it when they're not in combat, and then when the real danger comes along they have enough of a reminder to think, "Hey, maybe we should scan this ship".

I do think the alert could be for an incoming hail from TSN Command, or some such thing. The Captain can then order everyone to settle down and listen to the message, and Comms can play it. Standard hails, though, from other ships or starbases, wouldn't carry the "priority alert" signal that cuts into the Mainscreen display.

As a way to work it into standard missions, maybe the "incoming hail" could sound just before the war declaration in Border War mode. I can see Comms not knowing that's what they're supposed to be waiting for.
Arrew

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 2,737
Reply with quote  #37 
I think the more you play someone's mission you get used to the way they do things. I started doing Audio mission briefings for all of my missions after Ardent 3 I think. Youtube video briefings were cool too but I have to face the fact that I am a TERRIBLE voice actor. Can you get classes for they [wink] ?
Fish Evans

Registered:
Posts: 361
Reply with quote  #38 

I was thinking more on the lines of 

*Bleepedy beep* "Attention High Priority audio message in the message stack."

  Perhaps a hint sent to Comms as well "Press Play" from "System". Then after 30 or so seconds droping a Summry of the orders. in text form for referance / a final attempt at comunicating with the players.

Unfortunately I havnet really played around with theses things after I relised that they dont realy work on WAN games.

You tube Brifeings are an alternative, have them punch it up on the main screen just pria to getting the game launched. (or download it pria)

Mike Substelny

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 2,404
Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon
Some sort of standard "Incoming Message in ...." countdown with a dedicated, instantly recognizable flashing or color-shifting graphic plus distinctive audio warning component on the mainscreen followed by a big Play button on Comms sounds just about perfect. With such a consistent combined visual and auditory cue, it would be a simple matter to quickly condition a crew into not ignoring such announcements within the first few minutes of a mission, provided that the device was not overused or trivialized. Every message given this way must be of critical importance to reinforce the conditioning.


This is a great idea, Gryphon. Unfortunately no mission script writer could do it in the mission script language. Like many of the other suggestions, it would require Thom to change the game code.

It is possible to flash a message on the main screen the same way that you put up credits. But in my experience no one looks at those messages on the main screen.

Right now I think the best option is an audio countdown for important messages.

__________________
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill
ryleyra

Registered:
Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #40 
Well, a Big Message coupled with a sound file and a client keypress to break the loop would SORT OF implement an "incoming message" cue. That relies on client keypresses working, though.

As an alternative, if the incoming message is the first event of the script, then the graphic and sound effect can loop until the ship moves. The message Comms is directed to read can end with "To stop the incoming message alert, just move from your start position."

This is based on the idea that the crew will just sit there while trying to figure out what to do. If a crew takes off and starts looking for things to shoot without looking at the briefing that won't help.

I'll note, though, that in a couple of scripts I held off generating anything for about 30 seconds. (To give all players time to log in) So what you might do is have a completely empty sector, with the "incoming message" repeating for 10-30 seconds. That gives the crew time to read the briefing and THEN the sector appears with whatever they need to do.

You might even make a "warping" or "hyperspace tunnel" effect with a generic mesh so to the crew it looks like they are en route to the sector. Of course, you would have to lock the ship in place until the timer expires.

ryleyra

Registered:
Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #41 
Also, whether the indication is a Big Message or an audio cue, the players will not hear it if the server is started and they aren't logged in. That may be why, as Mike says, players ignore the credits message. They don't see it.

Again, what I do is wait until a ship (Artemis, usually) exists. Once the ship exists, I know there's a player there looking at the server, and I can display the Big Message and possibly start the timer to let other players log in. Of course, that requires using the Jump workaround where you don't create the player ship and make the players log in after the server has started.

In normal mode a timer is probably the best idea.

I have a couple of ideas I may post separately. First is to make a list of everything the players can do to interact with a mission. Outside of client keys, the only way the players can cause mission events to trigger is if they do something in game. Second, I think I'll come up with a generic "hyperspace tunnel" mesh so it can be used by the rest of you guys. (Like my tractor beam)

Mike Substelny

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 2,404
Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryleyra
I have a couple of ideas I may post separately. First is to make a list of everything the players can do to interact with a mission. Outside of client keys, the only way the players can cause mission events to trigger is if they do something in game.


I thought about this. Unfortunately there is nothing Engineering or Science can do that is detectable by a mission script (aside from keypresses).

Weapons can lock onto an enemy.
Helm can change the heading.
Communications can change the heading of an ally.

While it breaks the immersion, having the players do something would ensure that everyone was there. But in the big picture this is mostly a problem for Communications. If Comms is not logged in when a message comes in then that message is lost forever. I have definitely seen that happen.

Incidentally, you can hear the admiral's message, complete with quindar tones, by clicking here.

__________________
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill
ryleyra

Registered:
Posts: 3,007
Reply with quote  #43 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny

I thought about this. Unfortunately there is nothing Engineering or Science can do that is detectable by a mission script (aside from keypresses).


Engineering can set power settings for Impulse, but the script can't detect the change in topspeed until Helm moves the speed control.

Quote:

Communications can change the heading of an ally.


I hadn't thought of that! That's a good idea!

Quote:
If Comms is not logged in when a message comes in then that message is lost forever. I have definitely seen that happen.


Also a good point. Comms even loses all of its messages if it goes to the Option screen and selects another console.
LawsonThompson

Registered:
Posts: 625
Reply with quote  #44 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryphon
Some sort of standard "Incoming Message in ...." countdown with a dedicated, instantly recognizable flashing or color-shifting graphic...


This is a great idea, Gryphon. Unfortunately no mission script writer could do it in the mission script language. Like many of the other suggestions, it would require Thom to change the game code.

It is possible to flash a message on the main screen the same way that you put up credits. But in my experience no one looks at those messages on the main screen.

Right now I think the best option is an audio countdown for important messages.


I once experimented with a generic mesh as a large rectangular "wall" in front of the ship at mission start, textured with... um... text! A literal wall of text! 

Well, almost. Aligning a bitmap and accounting for various screen resolution possibilities got really, really messy, and I couldn't quite suss out how to get the texture wrapped and sized correctly. Gave up too soon, perhaps. Maybe I should revisit that?


__________________
----
Visit us at http://www.ltebridge.com
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.